Want to share your personal information with strangers? I didn’t think so. Yet, once you share your personal phone number online, you’re giving anyone on the Internet access to your identity. Most people wouldn’t intentionally share their number online, so how does it end up there?

I know for a fact that if you’re an entrepreneur and use your personal phone number for your business, this happens a lot.

Your personal number ends up online as you use it to register your company for different services. This results in spam, random calls and makes it possible for criminals to gain control over your number. SIM card swap, anyone?

So, how do you protect yourself and remove your personal number from the Internet? I wrote this guide to help you with that.

Find where your phone number is listed

A simple Google search will tell a lot about where your phone number is listed.

For starters, you can search for:

  • Your phone number in these formats: (415) xxx-yyyy, 415xxxyyyy and +1415xxxyyyy
  • Your full name + phone number (eg “Daryna Kulya phone number”)
  • Your company name + phone number (eg “OpenPhone phone number”)

I did this for my own number in the process of removing my information.

Below, I’ve listed common sites distributing your phone number. You’ll be able to follow instructions on how to opt-out of each of them.

1. Manta

Manta is a US online directory dedicated to small businesses. If you’re a business owner or a startup founder in the US, your company probably has a profile on Manta. Even if you didn’t create one yourself.

Where to find your number:

Right on the home page. Enter your company name to search for your profile.

How to opt-out:

  1. Go to the Manta contact page and submit a request
  2. You can remove your profile entirely (“Profile – Remove”) or update the phone number (“Profile – Updates”)
  3. You’ll get an email when your profile has been removed or updated

2. Whitepages

Whitepages has the largest database of contact information on US residents. If you live in the US, there’s a good chance you have a profile on Whitepages and have no idea about it. I was definitely surprised to find mine.

Where to find your number:

Look yourself up in People Search. They provide certain information for free and more advanced information (like background checks) for Whitepages Premium customers.

Whitepages Profile Screenshot

To opt-out:

  1. Go to the opt-out page
  2. Paste the link to your profile
  3. Confirm that you’d like your profile removed
  4. Verify your identity with a phone call. Whitepages ensures the phone number entered here won’t be used for anything beyond verification. Oh, the irony.
  5. That’s it. You’ll get an email once your information is removed.

3. RocketReach

RocketReach is a database offering contact information of 250 million professionals, across 6 million companies, worldwide.

Where to find your number:

I found my RocketReach profile when I searched for my full name + phone number on Google. You can also search for your name + RocketReach to see if you have one.

Here’s my profile before I removed it. Some of the numbers listed are so old, I completely forgot about them.

RocketReach profile

How to opt-out:

  1. Copy the link to your RocketReach profile.
  2. Claim your profile.
  3. RocketReach will need to verify that you really are who you say you are. You don’t need to use an email listed on your profile. Any email you own will do.
  4. Click on the verification link in your email.
  5. That’s it.

4. Lusha

Lusha provides B2B enrichment data. Their database consists of contact information they find through social network profiles.

Where to find your number:

Install the Lusha Chrome extension and open your LinkedIn profile

Viewing contact information using the Lusha Chrome extension

How to opt-out:

  1. Access the opt-out page
  2. Enter the required information to pull up your profile
  3. Once you submit the form, the Lusha team will contact you to confirm the information has been removed. You can email [email protected] to verify

5. Dun & Bradstreet + Hoovers

D&B + Hoovers is recognized for their Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS numbers). With this system, they provide commercial data, analytics, and insights on 100 million companies around the world.

Note: If you have an Apple Developer account for your company, you have a DUNS number.

Where to find your number:

Directly on their homepage, go to the “Company Search” section.

How to opt-out:

  1. Go here to their opt-out page.
  2. Submit your case by inputting your email address.
  3. You’ll be asked to provide a series of information. The information you provide will only be used to fulfill your CCPA (California Consumer and Privacy Act) request.
  4. Once submitted, the D&B + Hoovers team will review your case and get back to you.

6. Crunchbase

Crunchbase collects information about private and public companies – from early-stage startups to the Fortune 500. This includes investment and funding information, M&A and industry trends.

Where to find your number:

There is a search bar right at the top of the homepage. Enter your company name.

How to update your information:

updating contact information in Crunchbase

  1. Click the drop-down menu on top of your profile and select “Edit”
  2. You’ll need to login to your account. If you do not have one, you’ll have to register. This way, only authorized changes to your profile are approved.
  3. The Crunchbase team will verify your account by requesting you link either your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts.
  4. Once verified, you will be able to edit your profile or remove any personal information.

7. CB Insights

CB Insights is a tech market intelligence platform that analyzes data points on VC, startups, partnerships, and news mentions in order to find future investments.

Where to find your number:

Search for your company name + CB Insights on Google.

searching for a company name on CB Insighs

How to opt-out:

  1. If you are already registered, you can log in here to edit.
  2. Use their editor tool to update your profile to remove unwanted personal information like your personal cell number.
  3. If you are not registered, email them at [email protected]. Their team will remove any contact information for you.

8. Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The BBB provides consumers with different data points on a company before they do business with it.

Where to find your number:

They have a search bar right on their homepage. You can also search on Google by entering your company name + BBB.

How to opt-out:

Email [email protected] In the email you should state the following:

  • Link to your company BBB profile
  • Information that BBB has about your company
  • Request to change or delete any data they have

9. Search People Free

As the name might suggest, Search People Free is a directory containing personal information of many people. They claim to own 700+ million public records. Anyone can access this information since it’s free of charge. No sign-up is necessary.

Where to find your number:

Enter your name, address, email or phone number in the search bar right on their home page.

How to opt-out:

  1. Go here to remove your personal information
  2. Agree to the terms and let them know you’re not a bot 🤖
  3. Search for your record, click on “Details” to bring up your record
  4. At the bottom of the record page click ‘Remove this record’
  5. That’s it! Your record will be completely removed from their site

What to do next

Don’t use your personal cell number for business

You’ve already seen what happens when you use a personal phone number for business. Don’t make this mistake going forward.

Get a business phone number and don’t give out your personal number to anyone outside your friends and family.

There are many services you can use to get a second phone line for your business. The simplest option for founders and teams is OpenPhone. We’ve specifically built it to help manage your business and personal communications seamlessly on one device. Best of all, you can try out OpenPhone free for seven days.

Get a new personal cell number

Depending on how many sites and directories have your personal phone number, it might be worth changing it. You can do that without losing your current number if you port your number to a service like OpenPhone.

This way, you can gradually transition from using your personal number for everything to getting the separation and privacy you want.

When you port your existing phone number to OpenPhone, you can use it via an app on your cell or computer. Then, get a new personal number on your SIM card.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you keep your business and personal numbers separate. Only share your personal number with people you trust. You don’t know whose hands your personal information could end up in.

4.9/5 - (9 votes)

Co-Founder at OpenPhone. Ukrainian-Canadian in SF. Love exploring new hiking trails.

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